State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Washington Nutritionist Certification

The Washington State Department of Health certifies dieticians and nutritionists; therefore, only those individuals who are certified in Washington as nutritionists can use the designation of “certified nutritionist” or CN.

Qualifications for Certification as a Nutritionist in Washington

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Individuals who want to learn how to become a nutritionist in Washington may achieve nutritionist certification in one of two ways:

  • Possess the qualifications to become a registered dietician; OR
  • Receive a master’s degree or doctoral degree from a college or university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or a similar accrediting agency in one of the following subject areas:
    • Human nutrition
    • Nutrition education
    • Foods and nutrition
    • Public health nutrition

Note: There are no examination or supervised experience requirements for becoming a nutritionist when qualifying through the completion of a master’s or doctoral degree.

Becoming a certified dietician in Washington requires:

  • Completing a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the following major courses of study:
    • Human nutrition
    • Foods and nutrition
    • Dietetics
    • Food systems management; AND
  • Completing a pre-professional experience in dietetic practice of at least 900 hours under the supervision of a certified dietician or a registered dietician that has completed an undergraduate in dietetics
  • Completing an examination for dieticians

The Application Process for Becoming a Nutritionist in Washington

In addition to completing and signing the Dietician/Nutritionist Certification Application Packet, applicants must submit an application fee of $116 and submit the following:

If qualifying for a nutritionist certificate in Washington by meeting the requirements of a dietician, applicants must provide the following to the Washington State Department of Health:

  • Evidence of the completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher through official transcripts
  • Official transcripts showing the completion of 900 hours of supervised practice in the field of dietetics over the course of 36 months
  • Verification of a current registration status with the Commission on Dietetic Registration

If qualifying for a nutritionist certificate in Washington by completing a master’s or doctoral degree in a nutrition-related subject area, applicants must provide the following to the Washington State Department of Health:

  • Official transcripts from a college or university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or by a regional or national body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Education; transcripts must include degree and date posted, and they must be received directly from the applicant’s program.

All applicants must answer a number of personal data questions, which require an appropriate explanation, and required documentation must be sent with positive answers.

The personal statement includes questions about the applicant’s:

  • Chemical dependency/substance abuse
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Felony convictions
  • History of loss of license, certification or registration
  • Loss or limitations of privilege
  • Physical and mental health status
  • Professional liability claims history

Further, all applicants are required to complete at least 4 hours of HIV/AIDS training.

Nutritionists in Washington must renew their certification every year on or before their birthday. The cost of renewal is $86.

Job Opportunities and Salaries for Nutritionists in Washington

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nutritionists in the metropolitan area of Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington ranked eighth in the nation for the employment level of nutritionists, as of May 2013. Nutritionists in this metropolitan area earned an annual, mean salary of $65,220 during this time.

Nutritionists may find a number of job opportunities through some of Washington’s largest hospital and nursing home systems, including:

  • University of Washington Medical Center
  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital
  • Evergreen Health Medical Center
  • Harborview Medical Center
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital
  • Providence Mount St. Vincent
  • Carline Kline Galland Home
  • Foss Home and Village
  • Martha and Mary Health Service
  • Royal Park Care Center


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